PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic has been the standard beverage packaging for decades – rPET is recycled PET plastic and maintains the durability, safety and reusability of virgin PET and does not affect the taste or quality of the water, Nestle Waters says.
Nestle Waters has committed to adding rPET to its business as it becomes more economically feasible, the company has said. Currently, there isn’t enough recycled plastic available to make 100% rPET bottles, the Arrowhead website claims, adding that about 2.8 billion recyclable plastic bottles ended up in landfills in California last year.
Nestle Waters bottles are 100% recyclable, and the company says it “leads action programs all over the world to encourage bottle collection and optimize the recycling chain.” One of the company’s core aims is to continuously raise consumer awareness on the importance of PET bottle collection, Nestle Waters says. For example, if a 1.5L VITTEL bottle sold in France is recycled, the overall carbon footprint of the bottle is reduced by a quarter.
Michael Washburn, VP for sustainability at Nestle Waters, says raising awareness about recycling just makes good business sense. “If the bottles we sell end up in the recycling bin, that’s good for us: they have a chance to come back to our factory as recycled plastic, which is a hedge against volatility in the commodities market,” he told Environmental Leader (for the 2013 Insider Knowledge Report). The company supports an extended producer responsibility (EPR) business model, which requires beverage producers to help develop and fund effective recycling programs rather than relying solely on state and local municipalities to handle it.